If you want to read the performance review of the XXX read here:

AJ XX9 Performance Review
I kid I kid.. Sort of

As many of you know I had surgery on my wrist so I can’t actually play games right now but I was able to run drills by myself and shoot around to get a feel for the shoe. By no means do I consider this a full review but I think it can help you decide if going for the XXX is worth it.

Before I start, I think everyone was disappointed with the XXX because Jordan has been an innovator for better or worse. Every Jordan had a distinct look and personality but the XXX is just a rehash or .5 model of the XX9. On top of that, any decade anniversary is a big especially thirty. Thirty is when you start to look to settle down, get married, have kids etc.. Well most of us at least.

I think the XXX would have been a great time for JB to say “Hey, we’re 30 years old now, we’re scrapping story telling and inspiration garbage because we don’t need to anymore. Just simple looks and pure performance. No more limited editions of any kind. If you want our retros, have at it because we’re going to make so many that resellers won’t make a dime.”

Pipe dreams I know but wouldn’t that be refreshing ? Jordan Brand is the only brand that could reverse a trend they started but oh well.

Anyway as onto my “review lite”

Pros: traction, cushioning, fit, slightly improved support and containment 

Cons: heel stability, ankle pillow needs a notch, price

Sizing: true to size although a little pointier in and tighter in the toe box

Best for: XX9 lovers who want a little more support and containment

Weight:

  

Not that lightweight. 1.5 oz heavier than the Curry Two. 

Traction
JB did away with the wave pattern of the XX9 and opted for a mish mash squiggly pattern (?) and it works well.

  Not overly sticky like the Kobe XI that worked well even on on dusty floors with very minimal wiping. I only had two 1 hour sessions at the dusty Y but I’m confident these will be excellent on clean floors. Not quite as good as the Hyperrev 16 or Curry Two but pretty damn good. Translucent or not it worked well

Well done JB!

Cushioning

No change here as this is the same set up as the XX9. I will say the cored out heel feels better but the Zoom feels the same despite being more a little more recessed (lower to the ground). It doesn’t feel like the XX8 of course. Maybe this is what they intended with Flightspeed from the get go.

  Above: You can the Zoom barely protrudes but retains a very similar feel to the XX9. I’m not for sure since I sold my XX9s but compared to my M11 and SF3 it is more recessed.

Below: Cored out heel

 
If you liked the XX9 set up, you’ll like the XX9.5 set up. 

 Who knew Weartesters got their own Jordan too? 

The insole is not the typical yellow Ortholite and is actually pretty firm and thick. 

 
 
More squiggly scribbles and texture. Kind of how Tinker came up with the XXX I guess. The rubber textures does help to keep your foot from moving around on the insole kind of like the Stance socks with rubber on the bottom. I actually liked this feature although my socks didn’t since they’d bunch up so it made putting them on difficult. 
Fit

I went true to size with my normal 11 just like last year. The toe box is a little longer and tighter because it is a little pointier but it isn’t enough to size down. 

The materials are not as pliable and soft as last year as they seem to have a little more structure but it’s still flexible and conforming. If the XX9 is a nice dress shirt, the XXX is that same shirt but starched.

 
According to the marketing material is a “mix of woven, knit and printed materials.”

I am not a materials snob and like more structure so I like these materials more than the XX9. Regardless, it is still ultra comfortable and requires little to no break in.

  
Here is the inside lining. You can see the web straps’ silhouettes along the inside out outside of the shoe. 

  
The toe cap is not knit but instead a more rubbery flexible TPU. This helps prevent wear for toe draggers and helps a little with containment since it can’t stretch as much. 

However it extends a little too far and although not restrictive, it is exactly where my foot flexes. You can also see in the pic below that the upper folds at the laces. The XX9 didn’t do that since it was a little thinner overall. Not a big deal at all just noting it.

 
To enhance the fit in the ankle, the XXX has a large heel pillow which can get bunched up and feel a little awkward. I usually don’t notice the feel of these pillows but the first time I put it on it felt like a bunched up sock since there isn’t a notch. It feels basically like a ring behind the ankle.

 
The feeling goes away but just be prepared. Not sure why they didn’t use the standard dog bone but lockdown is still great. 

Fit overall is fantastic just like the XX9

Well done JB!

Support and Stability

A little more structure to the upper and a higher assymetrical cut help a little with support.  

  
Too bad JB doesn’t even know it’s own products

  
The XII is not assymetrical. The XIV and XIII to a lesser extent are. 

  

Anyways, I’ve always been a fan of the assymetrical cut because it really works. That higher cut on the medial side slows your ankle down if it’s turning and gives it something to lean on. However the XXX collar is too soft and flexible to do anything. Really no point in this case.

  
The heel counter is pretty big this time around and follows the XXX pattern along the heel.

  
All this added support is great because the shoe still rolls and fails my heel test.. Again

It is very tippy at the heel when stationary and I personally do not like playing in shoes that have this roll. I’ve had severe sprains in the Kobe IX and Lebron X which both failed my test. However if you don’t have that worry or had no issue with the XX9, you’ll love the XXX.

Containment 

After my poor containment experiences with the JCrossover 3 and Melo M12, the XXX performs fantastic in this regard. It actually does a better job than the XX9 because the footstay doesn’t flex as much due to the colored piece. It is much firmer than the cheapo plastic on the XX9.

  
Add in the TPU toe box plus the strengthened upper and overall containment is actually good. I still slid out at the midfoot because there is no structure but it’s still better than the XX9 in this regard. Improvement is a step in the right direction.

Conclusion 

Many people call the XX9 the greatest performing Jordan of all time although I am not one of them. An ultra comfortable upper felt great but at the expense of support and containment. No Zoom in the heel, minimal support and tippy heel had my looking elsewhere. I actually sold the first pair I had, bought another pair a few months later at $125 and sold them again because the shoe just wasn’t for me. The XXX addresses a lot of the flaws but it still is not what I want or need in a shoe. However, I think the minor tweaks make it a better overall shoe.

If you loved the XX9 you probably loved it for the freedom of the upper, the traction and the Zoom in the forefoot and not the reasons reasons I disliked it. In that case, I advise sticking to the XX9 because 

  1. It’s cheaper than the XXX now
  2. It’s cheaper than the XXX now
  3. The upper is slightly stiffer than the XX9
  4. All the qualities you love on the XX9 are virtually the as same on the XXX with no major enhancements. 

As with all new Jordan releases these will drop in price and I expect them to be eligible for Eastbay codes in a month and around the $130 range within a few months.  $200 is still really pricy when great performance shoes are coming out below $135. My advice is if you have the XX9 just wait for the sales before buying the XXX, you aren’t missing out on very much in the meantime.


57 Comment on “Air Jordan XXX 30 Performance Review Lite

  1. Pingback: Jordan XXX Performance Review Roundup | Tattered Sneaker

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